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Protected Area for the Management of Habitats or Species of Pico Alto

 

With approximately 586,84 m above sea level and an area of 1,21 km2, Pico Alto is the highest point of Santa Maria and the ideal spot to have an excellence picture of the entire island.

Protected Area for the Management of Habitats or Species of Pico Alto has important strongholds of the most ancient laurel forest of the Azores, including species such as azorean laurel (Laurus azorica), holly (Ilex perado ssp. azorica), azorean blueberry (Vaccinium cylindraceum), "pau-branco" (Picconia azorica), laurustinus (Viburnum Trelease Gandoger) and tree heath (Erica azorica).

Researchers of the University of the Azores, led by Professor Paulo Borges determined that the Pico Alto is one of the areas in the Azores with high unique diversity, where there are many species of molluscs, insects and spiders endemic of Santa Maria and in particular Pico Alto (eg Athous pomboi, Donus multifidus, Tarphius pomboi, Tarphius serranoi).

 

Adapted from the original text of Dr. Paul A.V. Borges
Azorean Biodiversity Group, University of the Azores.